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Political Theology
(2,863 words)

The term “political theology” is used in present-day theology in the context of a definite set of problems and ideas. This context must be taken into account, because the term could be ambiguous and misleading, as well as being historically “loaded”. The actual term comes from Stoicism which divided theology into three parts, mythical, natural and political (cf. Varro in St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, VI, 5). In Rome, political theology took precedence over natural theology (in contrast to the Hellenistic tradition). Here it was used to justify theologicall…

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Johann Baptist Metz, “Political Theology”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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